Tennis: Serena downs Stephens to reach US Open quarters
NEW YORK (AFP) - Top-ranked defending champion Serena Williams defeated US 15th seed Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday to reach the US Open quarter-finals, avenging a loss that ousted her from the 2013 Australian Open.
Williams won eight of the last nine games to advance after 87 minutes to a last-eight matchup against Spanish 18th seed Carla Suarez Navarro, who upset German eighth seed Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
"It will be a tough match," Williams said. Williams, who at 31 could become the oldest US Open women's champion, and Stephens had not played since the 20-year-old prodigy beat the four-time US Open champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in an Australian Open quarter-final last January.
"It definitely felt like a bigger match because Sloane is such a great player, but I had to stay focused in the moment," Williams said. "I just tried the whole time to do what I wanted to, stay calm and stay relaxed."